May 31st, 2012
07:35 AM ET

New York mayor wants big sugary drinks banned

If New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way, you won't be gulping down any 44-ounce Cokes at any of the Big Apple's eateries after March 2013.

Citing what he says is the contribution sugary beverages make to obesity in the U.S., Bloomberg says the buck, and the big Dr. Pepper, stops with him.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times.

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His proposal would ban any the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters or even street carts, according to reports from New York.

Sales of sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces would still be permitted in supermarkets and convenience stores, according to the reports, including one from CNN affiliate NY1.

Bloomberg's ban would not apply to diet drinks, juices, milkshakes or alcohol, according to the NY1 report.

The New York City Beverage Association responded quickly Wednesday.

“There they go again. The New York City Health Department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top. The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates. It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity,” the group said in a statement, according to NY1.

According to the Times report, more than half of New York's adults are obese or overweight, and the city says more than 30% of its citizens drink at least one sweetened beverage daily.

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James Estrada, a 41-year-old truck driver from Queens, New York told the New York Post that it doesn't make sense to just ban large sizes for everyone.

“I’m 6-2, 230 pounds so . . . serving sizes don’t really apply to me,” Estrada told the Post. “I just know that’s not enough for me. I usually get a large because it’s a good deal and I take long trips. I don’t want to stop every hour for another drink.”

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If Bloomberg's plan goes through, there's still a way to drown yourself in Pepsi. The Times says while fast-food restaurants could only give out cups holding 16 ounces or less, free refills are allowed. So just plan for more trips to the soda bar.

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Filed under: Fast Food • Food • New York
soundoff (1,059 Responses)
  1. room99

    Whatever the health effects are, the bottom line is the government should have absolutely zero say in the size of a DRINK you can sell or buy whether it's coffee, water, or a sugar filled energy drink. This is the USA!!.. or at least it used to be.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Amen! It sickens me that so many, usually liberals, are ready to hand over all of their rights to the government (the same government that they hated when dumba$$ Dubya was in office). They're such sad, frightened, spineless individuals. Hell, they can't even say one bad word about the President they put in office, even when he admits that he has a "kill list" with American names on it. Ugh!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2012Pete

      Let 'em eat and drink whatever they want. But insurance companies need to start charging people who are say 50+ lbs overweight additional premiums. Premiums are so high because people like to dirnk 64 oz of sugar for breakfast and I'm stuck chipping in to pay their health care bills. If they want to destroy their health that's their business. I just think they need to accept and pay for the consequences of their actions.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rich in Albany

    Better outlaw those fat "High-cap" soda straws too...
    (says while stocking up on pre-ban Big Gulp cups)

    This from the state that wanted to outlaw SALT in food preparation two years ago. Why am I here...

    May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dillon

    What i dont understand is diet soda is not being factored in with the bill because in all reality diet soda's dont lead to weight loss yeah maybe it has less calories but its not the silver bullet, i believe we should be allowed to drink what we want and when we want it because yeah obesity is a big issue but why should the government be worried about a few overly big because were all going to die some day, why not do it, doing something you love to do

    May 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JLH

    GOOD THING 40oz beers are off the table...Now I can drink double those and go plow into someone on some New York Road

    May 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JayUVA

    How about banning the big fraudulent banksters from profiteering and gambling with govt insured funds?!

    May 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2012Pete

      Hey – we don't want to mess with the thieves in banking and on Wall Street!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LKP4

    This all comes down to cutting costs. Yes, the government shouldn't have to intervene in people's life choices but it's the same obese people who complain one minute about government intervention and the next complain about medicare and lack of health insurance/ financial aid to cover all their medical expenses for conditions such as diabetes caused by their unhealthy lifestyles. With more than one third of America being obese, we have a major growing problem on our hands. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion and are steadily rising year after year.. So make up your minds people! If you fatties were able to take care/pay for yourselves then the government would not need to step in! But hey, survival of the fittest, right?

    May 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian Myers

    In the survey, 1/3 of the Sheep are ready to roll-over and comply.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ACR0123

    Comments shouldn't even be allowed on topics like these. People love to whine and complain about government getting in the way. Here's a thought, maybe too much freedom isn't always a good thing? Our society is upside down as is, and it doesn't make it any better that we have a bunch of overweight, lazy people in it. Ease up on the soda drinking a little bit, and who knows, maybe you'll lose a pound, or even 2! Congrats to the Mayor for doing this because obesity in America is out of control. With a small step like this, maybe it could help out.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. smiley

    Banning larege sodas from the fast food restaurant that has tons of processed foods they are selling is going to do nothing. It does make sense not to allow those receiving food stamps to be able to purchase tons of junk food.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mr Dalloway

    Maybe this mayor forgot that he lives in America.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jaintn

    What a perfect idea! Of course Bloomberg is counting on the fact that other New Yorker's are as dumb as he is and won't figure out they just need to buy three 16oz drinks instead of one 44oz.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt from NYC

    I don't see this move as taking away from anyone's freedom. It may cost you more, but you can still drink as much soda as you want. This isn't Nazi Germany, it isn't Soviet Russia, so calm the f down. You'll survive if you can no longer get a 32oz diabetes-in-a-bottle.

    This energy would be much better suited fighting REAL battles, like the fight for public schools, women's health care, the right to vote, marriage equality, and REAL access to quality health care. I know some of these may not be a huge concern in NY city or state, but they have real national significance.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jolgar

    This guy needs a hobby!! big time – oh – yes – he has too much TIME on his hands!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Floyd

    I don't think this is what Franklin and Jefferson had in mind for America.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. One girl - two cups

    can they stop me ordering two drinks for myself?

    May 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
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